Fabio Capello, England coach
It’s going to be good not to have to move from the place where we’re going to stay for our opening game, but we have difficult opponents who we must respect. USA are a good team, but so are Algeria and Slovenia. Every opponent at a World Cup is going to be difficult. We’re playing the last two group games at sea level, so that’s going to be a different challenge from our opening match in Rustenburg. But I won’t be offering excuses. Every team will have to meet awkward opponents, play in difficult conditions and win matches to win the World Cup. We’ve played and beaten USA and Slovenia recently, both are well-organised, they like to pass the ball and they’ll be good opponents. Algeria beat Egypt and they are a good team too, but I have to learn more about them. I know from experience as a player that when you play here (in the FIFA World Cup™) the pressure is different and the mentality is different. But are we going to win the World Cup? We have to!
Bob Bradley, USA coach
It’s an exciting start to the World Cup for us. They don’t come much bigger than England, so it’s a real special one. It’s great for the fans and exciting for the players too. We’re well aware of the history of the two teams at the World Cup, especially 1950, but times have moved on since then. We look at it as a big challenge and one that we're thrilled to have. I think that England and ourselves are favourites to qualify from the group, even though Algeria and Slovenia both came through great situations to get to the World Cup: Algeria with a historic win in Sudan, Slovenia beating Russia in the European play-offs. But we feel this is a group that gives us a real fair chance to move on. The (FIFA) Confederations Cup has given us a real feel for the venues and the weather that we’ll experience in South Africa, so it will make for a good World Cup, I’m sure about that.
Rabah Saadane, Algeria coach
Although there may be an advantage for England and USA, I think that on the whole this is an equal group. It’s very difficult to say who will qualify. However, I do think that England will go far in the tournament and they have the qualities to win it. They are great competitors, they have good individual quality – and with Fabio Capello, who I have great respect for, they now have an Italian steel which may have been lacking from their game. They’ve shown all those qualities in the qualifiers. We showed good form in the qualifiers to advance, but above all this is a dream which we have realised. To have qualified for the African Cup of Nations would have been great, but to be at a World Cup is an absolute fantasy. The fans back home are in dreamland. It means so much.
Matjaz Kek, Slovenia coach
We will try to do our best. I’m a bit disappointed, not in our opponents, but in the amount of travelling we’ll have to do. We are a small country, but we have a big motivation and a lot of heart. It’s not a case of us having nothing to lose; on the contrary, there could be three games which we could lose. There is always something at stake. We just hope that we can play well, but we do face an uphill struggle. Slovenia is the smallest country in this competition, but now we know what we have to do and what job we face. The victory over Russia in the play-off has given us a lot of confidence, even though it did not come as a big surprise to us. We always believe in ourselves and we know that when we’re well-prepared we can do very well. For me, the good thing is that I know a lot about two of our opponents. We’ve played England recently and I saw USA a lot at the (FIFA) Confederations Cup, so now we just have to get to know them even better.